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▶ Li Ling was a great general during the time of emperor Han Wu-di (hàn wǔ dì汉武帝). He was a very good fighter, and he won every battle. One time, however, Li Ling's troops were so hopelessly outnumbered by the Huns that although they fought bravely, the whole army was soon taken captive.

Li Ling shamefully surrendered for the moment, planning to wait for an opportunity to strike back. But when news of the surrender reached the capital, the emperor's jealous ministers began to degrade Li Ling in front of the emperor. What he heard made the emperor so angry that he had Li Ling's wife and mother put to death.

Ze-ma Chian, who had always respected Li Ling, believed that he wouldn't surrender without a reason, and urged the emperor not to believe rumors. This time, the emperor grew angry at Sz-ma Chian, and locking him up, punished him severely. Sz-ma Chian then wrote a long letter to a friend, saying, "I am now in the middle of writing a history book. If I die, it will be as if one ox in a group on nine were to lose a single hair, or as if one ant were to die. I am willing to withstand punishment in order to complete this book." Sz-ma Chian finally did finish his book - the very famous Shr-Ji.

Thus, to say that something is like "one hair from nine oxen" is to say that it is very insignificant.

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西汉时代有个很有名的大将军名叫李陵,他奉汉武帝的命令,率领军队去攻打匈奴。后来,因为兵力不足而战败投降。武帝听到这件事以后非常生气,他觉得李陵不 但不能立下大功,反而轻易对敌人投降,其它的大臣们也纷纷指责李陵的不忠。只有太史令司马迁为李陵打抱不平,他仗义直言说道:"李陵将军孤军夺战,每一次 出兵攻打敌方都有很好的成绩。而这一次,他没有得到李广利(担任正面主攻任务的将军)的协助,五千人的步兵虽然被八万匈奴兵团团围住,但是仍然冒死对抗, 而且连续打了十几天的仗,还杀伤敌兵一万多人,直到粮草都用尽了,才不得不假装投降,这样的战绩大概没有几个人能做得到,李陵实在是个了不起的将领啊!至 少他的功劳能够抵他的罪过吧!"

汉武帝听到司马迁不但为李陵辩解,而且还讽刺他的亲戚李广利,顿时火冒三丈,立即下令把司马迁打入死牢,接着又判了司马迁当时最残酷、最耻辱的宫刑。司马 迁遭受到如此大的打击,受到这种侮辱,好几次都想自杀一死了之,可是他想到自已这种情形即使死了,在大家眼中也不过就像是"九牛之一毛",不但得不到任何 人的一丝同情,还会受到大家的嘲笑。于是,他下定决心、勇敢的活下去,最后终于完成《史记》这部名流千古的史学巨着。
 
【翻译】One Hair From Nine Oxen.
【释义】九条牛身上的一根毛。比喻极大数量中极微小的数量,微不足道。
【例句】这点钱对于他这个富翁来说简直就是九牛一毛。

【近义词】滄海一粟, 一丝一毫
【反义词】不计其数、举不胜举

 




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